Apple’s huge cash hoard is like white space. There’s plenty of it, but the visual focus isn’t on the white space, it’s on what Apple is doing. So, let me look at what Apple is not doing.
What Doesn’t Meet The Eye
White space can often take up more space in the visual than a product, or text, or an image, yet white space is not where the eye focuses first.
When it comes to Apple’s money, we tend to focus on what Apple plans to do with it all. Buy back stock. Issue dividends. And, uh, what else?
So far, Apple isn’t giving a hint of what will happen to all those riches other than stock buying and dividend giving.
So, let’s look at the white space; what Apple is not doing with all that cash. Is Apple investing in new technology? For example, buying into the component makers– battery, screen, CPUs? Nope.
Is Apple investing that money by getting into finance as the world’s top gadget banker? There’s nothing to indicate that’s going on. At least, yet.
The company has enough money that it could easily finance sales of iPad and iPhone in ways that competitors never would. Nothing down, limited monthly payments, sign and go.
Apple’s iTunes App Store accounts have enough big numbers (a few hundred million users) and credit card numbers that it wouldn’t take much for the company to become a retail banker and allow your App Store account to be used for all kinds of purchases in retail outlets the world over.
Yet, there’s no sign that’s going on behind the scenes, either. What is Apple planning to do with all that cash other than sit on it or give it away in dividends and stock repurchases?
Apple is not buying chip manufacturing facilities. It isn’t buying the latest social media outlets (Instagram, Tumblr, Waze, et al). A company’s investments can often give us an idea of what the future might bring, but we don’t see Apple investing in much of anything at all.
Does all that visible white space mean that Apple can’t see the future?